Trans-Fat Free Edible Oils

42 Submissions
$30,000 USD
Challenge under evaluation

Challenge overview


Edible Oils are ubiquitous in the production of foodstuffs and the proper melt and oxidative stability properties of these oils are important factors influencing the quality of the final products. Often, oils with the correct properties are not available from naturally occurring raw materials and processing is required to achieve the required properties. Unfortunately this processing commonly introduces non-naturally occurring trans-fats into the oils and these trans-fats are linked to heart disease. Johnson Matthey, the Seeker for this Challenge, is seeking solutions that enable the tailoring of edible oil properties without the introduction of harmful trans-fats.

This Theoretical Challenge requires only a written proposal.



The correct melt and oxidative stability properties of triglycerides used in the production of foodstuffs is critical to the final product. These properties are directly related to the amount of saturation present in the fatty acid components of the triglycerides. Saturated fats are very air stable but are typically solids at room temperature, unsaturated fats tend to be liquids at room temperature, and polyunsaturates are liquids but tend to react with air and spoil easily. Users of edible oils must have the right amount of saturation for their foodstuffs and often have to process naturally occurring raw materials to achieve the desired level. Currently this process typically involves partially hydrogenating vegetable oils to introduce some saturation but during this process a small percent of the naturally occurring cis-isomers are converted into undesirable trans-isomers. These trans-fats are not naturally occurring and are linked to a number of health issues such as heart disease. They are also the subject of much legislation to reduce or eliminate their presence in foodstuffs and thus there is increasing pressure to find alternative methods that allow the tailoring of edible oil properties without the introduction of harmful trans-fats. Johnson Matthey is looking for solutions over a range of target areas for methods to eliminate or substantially reduce the amount of trans-fats in the final edible oil products.

This is a Theoretical Challenge that requires only a written proposal to be submitted. The Challenge award will be contingent upon theoretical evaluation of the proposal by the Seeker.

To receive an award, the Solvers will have to transfer to the Seeker their exclusive Intellectual Property (IP) rights to the solution. However, the Seeker will be willing to consider a licensing agreement for a partial award if exclusive IP cannot be transferred by the Solver.

Submissions to this Challenge must be received by 11:59 PM (US Eastern Time) on 25-Sep-2023.
Late submissions will not be considered.



Solvers residing in the countries of Russia, Belarus, Iran, North Korea, Syria, Central African Republic, Cuba, Eritrea, Libya, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Venezuela, and Yemen are prohibited from receiving awards for this Challenge.


Our vision is for a world that’s cleaner and healthier; today and for future generations. As a global leader in sustainable technologies, we apply our cutting edge science, creating solutions with our customers that make a real difference to the world around us. We have annual sales of over £4.2 billion and an annual operating profit of over £539 million with a gross R&D spend of £190m.


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What is a Theoretical IP Transfer Challenge?

A Wazoku Crowd Theoretical Challenge builds upon an idea but is not yet a proof of concept. A solution to a Theoretical Challenge will solidify the Solver's concept with detailed descriptions, specifications and requirements necessary to bringing a good idea closer to becoming an actual product or service.

This Challenge is a Theoretical IP Transfer Challenge, meaning that Solvers must transfer all rights to the Intellectual Property (IP) for which they are awarded. Solvers that do not win retain the rights to their solution after the evaluation period is complete. The Seeker retains no rights to any IP not awarded.

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